Nashville news: 1840-1849

Zack’s our man — President-elect Taylor stops by Nashville on his way to Washington. Newark Daily Advertiser, 22 Feb. 1849. A little background, historical and linguistic, here:

Southern elites were jubilant at the election of the Mexican War’s hero because they believed — quite mistakenly, as it turned out — that he was on their side in the controversy over extending slavery to the new territories west of the Mississippi.

The author of the letter felt obliged to explain that crowds in these parts expressed their enthusiasm rather differently from those up north:

“We do not huzzah, nor hurrah, we Western folks; but show our popular gratification by a sort of a cross between an Indian war-whoop and a whoorooh; a salutation quite familiar to old Zach, for he had before heard Tennesseans yell in Mexico.”

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